One monitoring station is “severe”, while rest of the 35 stations for which data is available showing ‘very poor’ Air Quality Index
The air quality of Delhi on Monday morning was “very poor”, according to the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), but lesser than the “severe” category as predicted by government agencies.
The Air Quality Index (AQI) at 1.30 p.m. stood at 351, worst this season, with one monitoring station showing “severe” and rest of the 35 stations for which data is available showing ‘very poor’ AQI, as per CPCB data.
IGI Airport (Terminal 3) was the most polluted with an AQI of 406 (severe), followed by Nehru Nagar (384), and Mathura Road (376) at 1.30 p.m. According to the CPCB, prolonged exposure to “very poor” air quality can lead to “respiratory illness”. The CPCB data is average of the past 24 hours.
Meanwhile, according to government-run monitoring agency SAFAR (System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting and Research), the AQI is 506 and in “severe” category.
SAFAR has advised people to avoid all outdoor physical activity, give a miss to walk, and close room windows.
“Stop any activity if you experience any unusual coughing, chest discomfort, wheezing, breathing difficulty, or fatigue and consult a doctor,” the advisory said.
Last October, the Supreme Court banned the sale, use, and manufacture of crackers that were not “green”. Though “green crackers” were neither manufactured nor available in the market last year, this Deepavali, “green crackers” were available.
On Friday, SAFAR predicted that the air quality of Delhi was likely to spike to “severe” category in the early hours of Monday due to the effect of firecrackers on Deepavali night. It had also said that it would be for a short period with about “half” the magnitude of Deepavali in 2018.
The prediction was made with the assumption that emissions due to firecrackers will be 50% of average firecracker emission of 2017 and 2018. SAFAR had also said that higher boundary layer winds were likely to flush out the expected high impact of firecracker emissions.